Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Don't mind me. I'm just gonna sit here in the corner with ashes on my face, keening my sorrow and maybe drinking a bottle or two of merlot so that I can obliterate the knowledge that with Alito's confirmation, well, totally fucked up things are a'comin down the pike.

I am secure in the knowedge that it is going to BLOW donkeys for wooden nickels to live in this country if you are not a straight, white, Christian male. Seriously. Give it a few years. Lets see a few more of those civil rights trickle away. See how the concept of "permanent one-party rule" feels.

It is going to suck hard. It scares me.

Also? We're all fucked.

No lube.

And there is not enough merlot in the WORLD to make it better.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Two pounds of merino roving from Beaverslide Dry Goods have landed on my front porch and I am scratching my head and thinking... "Hmmmmm."

Not so personally crazy about the thimbleberry color which is a teensy bit more on the coral/orange side than I thought it would be. Based on the pics, I was expecting more of a rose. Don't get me wrong it's a lovely color, it's just not one I'd personally wear. I think it'll spin up into something dandy but not really for me, ultimately. I am forseeing that this roving has a brilliant future as lovely gifts, possibly as spun yarn, knitted goods or to make spindle enabled friends happy. I may try overdying some of it. I *am* completely in love with the Mountain Twilight dyelot, of which I have a whole luscious pound. I'm thinkin, this needs to be spun up and plied into something resembling a DK weight yarn and then THAT needs to be knitted into a luscious and cuddly hoodie which I have every intention of keeping all to myself.

I guess the only complaint I have is that the fiber is not neat and combed out like other rovings I've purchased. It's fluffy and crumply instead of all the fibers lying in one neat direction. There's vegetable matter in there too. I believe that it wants for carding, and to that end, now I have to either buy or borrow some carding implements. I don't believe the vendor misrepresented herself or anything, it's just that anytime I've ever bought something labeled "roving" it came already carded, in a great lovely batt and perfectly ready to spin. I had expectations that this would be the same. I'm thinking that it is going to be lovely when I do get it prepped, though. I have so much yet to learn and prepping my own fiber, even if it's just this last step, is a good place to start.

$16 per pound. 90% merino 10% mohair. Yum. Good deal.

I have a lot of fiber. I am not allowed to buy ANY MORE. For a while. The madness must (temporarily) end.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

peacock
A totally random peacock and a happy wedding guest.

Bridal fingers. This is after the henna paste from yesterday's post was flaked off, early this morning. I went to the wedding venue early in order to gild the lily.
gilded bridal 3

gilded bridal 4

I'm pleased with it overall, there were elements I'd change now and I have to admit I kept looking at her hands and thinking "I wish I'd done $thing" during the ring ceremony but overall, I'm very pleased.

improv


improv
Originally uploaded by yarnpirate.

Franklin would probably know the answer to this one. When attending a wedding, is it rude to bring knitting? Now, I don't mean knitting during the service of course, I mean, after the vows and after the meal, when folks are dancing and hanging out, it'd be perfectly mannerly to whip out some yarn, right? Yes? No?

Anyone? Bueller?

hennasmall

playing with leftover henna, bedouin dots, north african cross motif, indian lotus, gilded. I prefer small stuff like this on the backs with very elaborate palms. Mileage varies.

Ok, I go off to gild and bejewel a bride for her big day, more purty peektures of henna embellishments to come.

Friday, January 27, 2006

teamwales2
I am amused. Apparently, I could be on this team if I wanted because I like sheep, leeks and daffodils PLUS I know where Wales is. Rock.
sketch1

sketch2

in progress

backsdone

palmsdone

Tired.

Yellow is just a paste made with turmeric and water. It'll leave a yellow stain. Henna will come off bright orange at first and deepen to a dark brown. Before the wedding tomorrow, I'll go and do some gilding in the design itself to really pop it out. OF course now that my bride has gone home, I'm all freaked out that she'll decide she hates it or that I did a crap job. She doesn't hate it, it's not a crap job.

I'm still on a learning curve, this is true. But just because I'm learning doesn't mean it's crap. I need to learn to make the little critic in my head STFU, ya know?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

So maybe there is more to this sweater knitting thing than ennui. Having turned and finished the sleeve, I'm about halfway done with the left front panel. Shaping is fun and now that things are coming together in an obviously sweaterlike fashion, I'm very pleased that I stuck with it. Always good to pick up new skills.

Also, this cracked me up.



I've finally got the yarn for the Olympics sweater ordered, I think it's going to look adorable. I couldn't decide between Jaeger Sienna in "chillie" or "phlox", so I ordered both. Lord knows, I know enough pregnant women. Actually, one of 'em just spawned so make that one less pregnant woman and one spankin' new baby girl. Mom and baby doing great! Once the yarn arrives, I'll pick out fabulous buttons and then bring on the Olympics.

It'll be interesting to knit with the Sienna. I do like the Knitpicks Shine but in general, I find cotton yarn to be a little bit weird and fiddly to knit with. My hands get more tired than they do with wool and I'm not sure why. I also end up with weird spots where my tension was not as spot on, I don't seem to see that with the stuff I knit in wool. It could just be *this* yarn though, so having another to try is not a bad idea. Really, I think I am doomed to be a wool lover and living in Southern California, that doesn't bode well for a lot of fabulous hand knit sweaters.
I do not need more roving. I don't care if Copper Moose (such a great vendor) has new offerings up on ebay. There is so much that I haven't spun yet IN my stash. The spindle has been untouched for weeks. It is ridiculous. Yet here I set, surfing around looking at yet more roving. It's an addiction. Speaking of addiction, if you haven't checked out Beaverslide Dry Goods yet, you really ought to. Gorgeous yarns, roving, yet more fiber crack to make you dip into Little Suzie's college money just one more time. Good prices. There really are days where my fiber appetite exceeds my ability to do things with fiber. And that's just plain sad.

Latest Lion Brand catalog, arrived in mail, esp. scary. Not sure how LB people got my address. Think they might be in on Bush's wiretapping program, that's the only thing I can think of because as G-d is my witness, I never gave it to them. Aside from a few regrettable skeins of Homespun and Wool Ease (I was a new knitter, I'd never experienced superwash merino) I haven't bought any LB yarn. SO HOW DID THE FUGLY STUFF END UP IN MY MAILBOX?? That's what I wanna know. Case in point, I give you... fug.



Dude. You could keep supertankers at anchor with that cable. S'all I'm sayin.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Stories from the front lines

I've been thinking a lot about the whole "Blog for Choice" thing this week. Trying to compose a post, something thoughtful and insightful. Yeah, not so much. Not so much with the eloquence on this one. I don't really have much to say that hasn't already been said by better writers than me. I'll share with you my personal experience with this issue instead.

I used to work as a clinic escort, two or three mornings a week. I wore a traffic orange vest and I walked women from their cars through a gauntlet of pro-life protesters. The women were always terrified, sad, angry, and it was hard for them to face all those people. Sometimes the protesters would have signs or awful pictures to wave. They'd try to hand the women tracts, yell at them, plead with them, pray at them. It was my job to get the women inside safely. It was a pretty stressed out gig, all things considered. I worked with a small crew. There was Dani, a single welfare mom who figured she might as well do something constructive while she waited for a job to materialize through GAIN. Frank, a seventy year old guy from the local Unitarian Church. Total eco nut, rode his bike everywhere. Marge, she kept our motley crew together from her tiny home office, kept us official, dealt with permits and clinic staff. And there was me. I was a single mom, working part time, raising a toddler. We had a few others who would join us from time to time, but really, that was it, the core group. Four of us, volunteers all, in little orange vests that read ESCORT on the back.

Against all of them.

Not all the protesters were hard to deal with. The Catholics showed up on Tuesday mornings, stood in a little knot and prayed quietly. Left just as quietly. One tiny old lady came on her own every day. She walked up and down the street in the hot San Joaquin Valley sun and prayed, holding up her little sign at passing cars. We used to keep an eye on her just in case, we worried about heat stroke or worse. There were a couple of comfortably middle class women we called the Church Ladies. They held tracts out and prayed at the clinic patients as they walked past but they were respectful and never got nasty. We had a sort of wary but amicable relationship. It was like in the cartoon where Wile E Coyote clocks in with Bob the Sheepdog and spends the rest of the cartoon trying to steal sheep. We'd all clock in at 7am and clock out at noon. We'd herd our charges past and they'd try to steal our sheep. I started talking to a couple of the Church Ladies, trying to understand where they were coming from and trying to get them to understand where I was coming from. We never did convince each other but I appreciated that we could have a dialogue.

Not all the protesters were easy. There was Bible Bob, he came with a video camera and taped the escorts and clinic workers, followed us home in his car after a shift, wrote down where we lived. The King, so named for the verses he would scream at us. They had big groups of followers that they brought along sometimes and it got loud, abusive and noisy when they showed up en masse. Scary, too. They carried this sort of insane vibe that always threatened to tip over into something nasty. I got pregnant while I was doing this work. I kept working at the clinic because it was choice that mattered to me and I wanted other women to have it too. I don't believe having a baby and being pro choice are mutually exclusive, you know? I had a choice. I made it. Period. Some of the more rabid protesters never did see it that way and began to single me out for abuse, commentary and bile. The more visible my belly got, the nastier they got.

One day, a man dragged his partner out of the clinic and began to beat her in the parking lot. Bible Bob stood there with his videotape, calling out encouragements. Frank tried to pull him off her and I had to help Frank and got socked in the face for my troubles. Frank almost had a heart attack and couldn't ride his bike home that afternoon. The poor Church Ladies didn't know what to do so they stood there wringing their hands. I think it scared them to death. Marge called the cops who showed up eventually and did nothing. Conservative small town in California's Central Valley. Not a shock. Nobody got arrested. The day after that, Bible Bob picked me up off my feet and threw me into a brick wall so that he could get at the woman I was walking into the clinic. I don't think he appreciated the irony. That was the day I quit doing escort work. Took off my orange vest and limped home because I decided that the pro-life folks were too much of a danger to MY unborn child. It was the right decision. It was time to quit. Punch me once, shame on you. Throw me into a wall the next day? Shame on me. I was about 5 months along at that point and in retrospect, maybe it was stupid to take such a risk, but I did believe I was doing the right thing by working there. There were only four of us and if I left, that made three. It didn't really matter though, in the end. The clinic shut down not long after anyway, couldn't find a doctor willing to work with the constant threats. The sad thing is that the clinic didn't just do abortions. It wasn't even 20% of what they did. They provided low cost, basic health care to women who needed it and they were IT for miles. They dispensed birth control, counseling, provided community resources and information, helped women through the welfare process, did pap smears, STD testing, needful things. When they were gone, those women didn't have access to those things anymore.

I think it is my experience here that gives me pause, that makes me understand that there is so much more than the legal issue at stake here. Our right to choose is being chipped away with every clinic that closes, every doctor who is afraid to perform this procedure, every nurse who doesn't want to put herself at risk. Every escort who puts her vest down and limps home. We cannot lie down. If this continues, our daughters will be worse off than the low income women in the little farm town I used to live in. That is unacceptable to me. Roe is at risk, yes, but right now women have a legal right to this and it is being taken away through illegal and horrifying tactics. I guess for some folks, it's really a war.

It's a funny thing about war, though. See, I got another lesson from this. I learned that no matter what people believe in, it is possible to reach them. There is always common ground. Those conversations we had between clients at the clinic did eventually grow fruit. After I quit doing clinic work, I stayed in touch with the Church Ladies. I never really bought into their way of thinking and I know I never convinced them to mine, but we could at least look at each other and see a person and not "the bad guy." I know that at least a few of the Church Ladies began to think of these women at the clinic as people in need because of our talks and that sparked some interesting and charitable endeavors. They changed my outlook a little but I also changed theirs and that benefited everyone. The day after my baby was born, the little old lady who used to walk up and down the street with her sign brought me muffins. Banana. I think she got my address from Bible Bob's little black book of people he'd stalked. Don't get me wrong, I never felt warm and cuddly about Bible Bob. There are limits. Point is, I reached 2 or 3 women out of 20 and that was something. It is possible to see past ideology and a conflict of belief, to try to reach past that, and connect. Sometimes you won't agree, but if you can at least keep a dialogue open, there is hope. War (of all kinds, fought with words, fought with votes or the wars fought with guns) is fought by people. We allow ourselves to do this by dehumanizing the enemy because it is easy to dismiss the beliefs of something that is Not Like Us. If you're not a person, I don't have to listen to you. LAlalalallalala.

It is possible to reverse that. I know. I've done it.

I don't know if there's hope here for Roe v. Wade in the big picture. It looks bad. I really don't know and I have my doubts. What I do know is that individuals can open doors. If there is any hope to be had, I think it'll come from there in the end, not from any big political shift, not from Democrats, not from SCOTUS. It'll come from people having the courage to sit down and talk out their differences, maybe find a common ground, agree to disagree. I have hope that maybe we can achieve that some day. Me? I'm long past being afraid of Bible Bob. I think maybe it's time to put my orange vest back on, walk some women through the gauntlet and try to open some more doors.

Whatever you believe? Do. Just, listen while you do. It might change the world.
Truism #37
Knitting sweaters is basically five minutes of fun and excitement while you cast on followed by long hours of ennui and then horrifying moments of complete and utter stress while you try to follow pattern instructions that were written by designers on crack. If you think swatching is dull? Don't knit sweaters. S'all I have to say on the matter. And it's a baby sweater, to boot. That gansey for my husband? Pull over for the Aussie? Vest for my dad? Yeah. Never gonna happen.

Being invested in pushing my boundaries as a knitter, I'm yawning my way through it. Still. This must be why I love socks. They're over quickly. Instant gratification.

Monday, January 23, 2006

P1010001
Garter stitch baby cardigan currently in progress, using Knitpicks Shine, "butter". So totally simple. I'm beginning to have faith that it will, in fact, turn into a sweater. This gives me faith that I will, at some point, knit myself a sweater. The husband is already coming over and looking interested and saying that he would not mind a sweater as long as it did not look or fit like arse. Right then, honey, I'm on it.

P1010002
Cutest button ever. I don't know why but I do love giraffes on baby clothing. I think this button is going to take a ho hum garter stitch cardigan and turn it into something squeefully cute.

Knitpicks Shine is a pleasure to knit and a great bargain for cotton yarn, definitely recommend it! Is more than I can say for Knitpicks Crayon which is boucle, weird, limp and floppy and not making me happy.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

peektures!

I finally found the card for my camera and here is some uber cool swag from my super secret SP7!
sp7#1

There's two skeins of Cascade Sierra which is really nice pima cotton. I like it a lot and I LOVE the color. Also, a pattern to make a baby sweater using, you guessed it, two skeins of Cascade Sierra! A Dagoba Lavender bar, which is my second favorite next to the Xocolatl bar and a close tie to the Roseberry bar. I'm sure I've mentioned this chocolate before, if you haven't tried it, you really should. Especially as they are a fair trade friendly company. A nifty set of Totoro chopsticks and a Sanrio datebook rounded out the fun, also a Hello Kitty guitar pick which my oldest swooped down and claimed before I even had the last wee package fully unwrapped. It is not in the picture because, well, I think she hid it somewhere.

Thank you Super Secret Pal!

atacama laceweight
The Atacama worsted weight alpaca that I picked up at Little Knitterie today. It's very soft and I love the colors. They seem a bit harsh and washed out in this pic, they're actually a little softer and richer in person.

New LA yarn store... ho hum.

Checked out The Little Knitterie on Franklin at Vermont today while I was out and about enjoying a balmy LA winter afternoon. I've been sadly passing by their darkened storefront for several weeks on my way to Fred 62 (open 24/7 with the cutest waitresses in town) and of course, always when they were closed. I'd been dying to get in and check out the yarns.

Ho. Hum.

I wanted to like it. I tried. It's like, half yarn store, half overpriced trendoid boutique all crammed into a very tiny storefront. Almost no natural light. One side of the shop has racks of (fugly) clothing and the other side has yarn. Sortof a mishmosh of stuff all over with boutique things sharing space with the yarn. The selection was this disappointing mix of novelty yarns interspersed with luxe, high priced designer yarns like Douceur et Soie, Kid Seta, GGH, Filatura di Crosa. They did have some Debbie Bliss cashmerino and cashmerino aran in limited colors and I found a few paltry skeins of Cascade 220 down at floor level, also in limited colors. Overall, SO disappointing and their prices were high, not so high that I laughed but high enough that I could think of at least 2 local storefronts where I could get the same yarn at a worthwhile savings. There was a real lack of what I would consider to be really basic, quality yarns for the serious knitter. They also had a fairly lousy selection of needles with only Daisy and Clover represented and not many styles or sizes at all.

Plus? And this is the worst! No sock yarn. Which of course, if you're me, that's the kiss of death for any return visits. If you don't have sock yarn, don't waste my time. I do like to support local business so to that end I bought two skeins of gorgeous, worsted alpaca handpaint but this is not a yarn store I'll be haunting on a regular basis or recommending to my friends. I had to laugh at the teeny wrist warmers they were selling for > $35. They did give me a free tape measure and the girl who helped me find stuff was friendly enough so they at least get points for that. I give it six months and that's sad because that area really could use a kicky little yarn shop and LA could use more locally owned businesses in general.

OTOH, there was a fabulous Spanish latte at Psychobabble and I used that to drown my yarn woes. Always nice to get a few hours out of the house and I had that Aussie along, even if he did abandon me the second I walked into the yarn shop.



I'm not sure how blogging really will make a difference on this issue except to raise awareness that yes, a woman's right to choose is threatened constantly and SCOTUS is undergoing a dramatic shift which could up that threat considerably. But we all knew that and nobody is going to change anyone's mind via the blogosphere. The polarization around this issue is not going to change. If you are informed enough to be thinking about this, then you already know that is a problem. So don't just blog your support, ok? DO. Go volunteer to escort women through the gauntlet of protesters at a local clinic a few mornings a month. Give money to NOW. Give time. Volunteer. Show up. Be present. VOTE.

BTW, I'm really not interested in debating the choice issue here so please don't leave me comments telling me why I'm wrong. I will defend to the death your right to believe that and say what you like in your own space, just as I have the right to say what I believe here in mine. I'd like to make a suggestion though, if you are spluttering at me about my pro choice beliefs. Take that energy and do something with it. Donate some of your time to a charity that helps new moms, lobby your political leaders to fund healthcare, childcare and other services for low income women in your state so that a baby isn't something they have to make a choice about. Get your church to do something helpful. Do something to make this a country where women don't have to make such a hard choice because they've got access to the resources they need to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Whatever you believe, don't just talk. DO. Take thoughtful, helpful action. VOTE.

Whatever you believe? Do.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Have found fiendishly cute buttons with ickle giraffes on them for the garter stitch cardigan currently on needles. OMG. To see them is to squee and die.

Speaking of fiendish, my local yarn store, A Mano Yarn Center, has a really clever and awful yarn buyer. For lo, did I go to the yarn store today "just to look" and discovered not only Trekking XXL but also a spankin' new bin of Socks That Rock. I believe I have mentioned that sock yarn is going to be my undoing, yes? Fortunately, I didn't like any of the Trekking colorways they had in stock (and I've got two skeins in my stash) but a rather subtle celadon hued skein of Socks That Rock leapt into my arms and wrapped itself around me and I had to bring it home. There were at least three other colorways whimpering at me from the bin and I may just have to go back for them later this week.

All I have to say is that it is a GOOD thing those A Mano ladies haven't discovered Bearfoot.
Went out to see Tristan and Isolde last night with the hubby. Okay, gonna go out on a limb here and say that it is NOT a really hot date movie. Also, not a light romantic comedy. But we knew that. Tristan and Iseult is one of those classic tragic love stories, predates Romeo and Juliet, yadda yadda. And this is a tragic, pretty movie. Gorgeous cast, well shot, pretty, pretty movie. Pretty soundtrack too. They did not try to sugarcoat or give it a happy ending. But they did it WRONG. I was unhappy. They got one of my favorite stories almost there, almost right... and then botched it in the details. Seeing as how I'm a complete Authenticity Police type when it comes to the medieval, I gotta say that they got enough details wrong that I could not suspend disbelief and relax into the story. Characters reading and writing, tiny issues with dyes and textiles, modern designation of places instead of historical place names in use at the time, use of a FORK and plate at the high table (bread trenchers much more common, forks not invented/used in Britain till much later), blah blah blah. Niggling at the details. Ruined it for me. If you don't care about that stuff, by all means go see the movie. It won't be ruined for you and you'll probably love it. I wanted to, badly. I deeply love this story.

Swatching continues for the garter stitch cardigan in Knitpicks Shine. I hate swatching. It involves maths. And laundry. Because you have to swatch, then do maths, then do laundry, then do more maths. I know, it is the next step to being a real knitter and I will suck it up and swatch, compute, wash, and compute because that is what real knitters do. Still. I feel justified in kvetching the entire time. I'm getting fairly close to proper stitch gauge but row gauge is off. I am frustrated. I think I'm just gonna make it and if it's a little big, hell, baby will grow into it right? The proper yarn has been located for the Rosebud cardigan that is my entry in the Knitting Olympic madness. Sadly, the Jaeger Silk that the pattern calls for has been discontinued. I feel crabby at this. Jaeger Sienna and also their 4 ply merino super soft wool are the same gauge and will work just fine, but darnit, I was kinda wanting to make it in the silk. Ah well. Those whacky yarn companies and their discontinuation of perfectly swell yarn. When will it stop? I could see discontinuing something like, oh, Jaeger FUR yarn, but a classic 4 ply silk? Why? What is the point? How about we discontinue all the Muppet Yarn instead. Because I am not so much with the discontinuation of quality fiber that I might want to knit with. Then again, making a baby sweater in dry clean only silk or cashmere is silly too. So I'll give the cotton a whirl. Now to select a color... at least 3 days of agonized deliberation right there.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

There is a vicious rumor going around that we mistreat our animals terribly.
P1010002_1

I'd like to dispute the rumor, but, well, you can see the pictoral evidence for yourselves.
not allowed to rest

I'm really shocked that nobody has called the SPCA before now.
no love for tiki

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

We're having the Finishing Olympics around here. I figured that I should really knock out all the unfinished projects, weave in all the lose ends (so sad, the socks!) and get things tidied up for the Yarn Harlot's Frenzy of Olympic Sweater Knitting. To that end, I ripped out Cam's cursed socks and cast on for a new pair with fresh yarn, new pattern and different needles. Sock #1, coming along beautifully. No problems thus far. The NEW socks, Cam's Worth Her Weight In Rubies socks (Prov 31:10) are made out of Bearfoot and are warm and cuddly and fabulous. I came up with these socks for Cam because I totally respect the way she walks her talk. It isn't lip service. She should get rubies. She's getting socks in "Ruby Ridge" instead.

Before the Knitting Olympics can commence, I must do the following.
Finish Cam's socks (the woman is about to give birth. She needs warm feet. Also, I cannot knit for her baby until I have finished the knitting for HER.)
Knit the second Trekking XXL sock (about 1/4 done) and the second Koigu sock (not even cast on)
Finish the sari silk striped scarf (or maybe frog that sucker, I haven't decided yet.)
Finish the felted bag I'm making from Cascade 220 for my friend's daughter (only about 1/3 done, not even to icord.)
Finish the strap for the felted Pekoe bag I made myself from all the Pekoe yarns leftover from paying our vet bill (I hate straps.)
Finish sewing on the button for the Pekoe bag I still haven't mailed my friend Mat, the God of Procrastination.
Put earflaps on the boy's hat.

I think as far as lingering and unfinished stuff, this isnt' bad and most knitters I've talked to have far larger Piles of Shame so I don't feel TOO bad. I just know that when the endless rounds of stocking stitch on the Olympics sweater begin to wear, I'll be so totally tempted to put it down and pick something else up. This way, I'll have no excuses.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Not only is Z knitting in the Yarn Harlot's Olympic thinger, she is also making a sock. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! This is SO me, making heavy metal fingers \m/ and chanting "One of us! One of us! One of us!" because we all know how I feel about socks. Occasionally, I even finish one. Like, today I was wearing a pair and I kept tripping on the 12" tail dangling from the cuff that I never worked in or snipped. Have I snipped that sucker yet? Nope. For some reason, the dangling amuses me. Got about 3" done on the second Trekking sock though. Phwoar!

This will be amusing because together we will be the unbeatable Jewish Knitting Olympics team and there will be wine involved at least on my end which should make for some interesting sweater knitting. As I said earlier, hilarity will probably ensue. Maybe even hijinks. I totally need to make a button that can go on my blog under the Knitting Olympics button which I haven't put up yet, that says Jewish Knitting Team 2006 or something. Rar.
The Yarn Harlot is hosting the Knitting Olympics. So naturally I signed up. Now, you'd think that I'd maybe, oh, sign up to finish Cam's socks maybe but NOooooo. See, Cam's socks are getting ripped out and redone in something other than what I started because I've decided that the extant pair is cursed and all. No, I'm making a baby cardigan for the knitting olympics. One that requires blocking and sewing pieces together. That's challenging, sure. Given that I'm still swatching away for the garter stitch cardigan that requires NO blocking or sewing. Sure. 16 days. One sweater. It's a small sweater. I can do it.

Monday, January 16, 2006

A few Universal Truths to start your day

1. Trust the pattern. It knows what it's doing generally, unless the designer is on crack, which sometimes happens. Usually, if there is crack involved, you'll know pretty quickly.

2. Swatch. Please. Learn to swatch for gauge and learn to love the swatch. Otherwise, you'll end up with a sweater that's wide enough around for a three year old but short enough for a newborn baby. Really. And that's just. Well. It looks like you were the one on crack when that happens, really.

3. Just say NO to crack.


Yep, so, swatching. Baby sweater. Take two.

Have gotten SP package #1 off in the mail and there is some smugness. It was a cool package. This package was all about stuff that I really love, that also fits into my SP's interests and likes or stuff she wants to try. The next package is not going to be yarn oriented, but will be of a more sensory theme and then the last is planned to be all about stuff geared to her tastes and will include at least one thing that she said she really wants. I have a plan. Plans are good. Yet one more thing to indulge myself and be OCD about.

In other news, being forced to walk to the neighborhood Starbucks today for a nonfat latte proved just how flabby and out of shape I am and I think the new iPod and I are going to be taking regular morning walkies from now on to try to remedy this situation. I've got a ton of SB's gift money so I can bribe myself with nonfat lattes as an incentive to make it up around the studio and it certainly will be all nice and heart healthy, now won't it.

This is the other truism.

Butt size increases correspondingly with the increase in time spent sitting down knitting. Because usually there is a cup of milky tea and some cookies involved. Plus, sitting. On the butt. Which is growing.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Sometimes jumping off knitting ledges into the great yarn unknown can be scary or exhilarating or so simple you hit yourself in the head and think "why the heck didn't I do this sooner?" and I am thinking that today is all about all three bu t mostly the latter. I've got about 3" of the garter cardigan from Simple Knits for Cherished Babies cast on and worked on needles and it's going just fine. The stuff that's coming up, increases, decreases and picking up stitches I can *totally* do. While I am sure I will run into areas in the process that make me scratch my head and think, "Omg? WTF?" I am also confident that I'm gonna have one great little baby sweater done in a few days. I dug up some Bernat Baby cotton out of my yarn gulag and it's working up great. When the Knitpicks yarn gets here, I'll try the classic sweater and rosebud cardigans. And then? On to big sweaters for MEEEE!

Spent a few hours last night taking a fearless moral yarn inventory and discovered a few things.
1. I want more yarn. Badly.
2. I don't really need more yarn in a very general manner of speaking, because I was a yarn buyin' fool when I began to knit and there's a ton of stuff in there that's unplanned for and available to use.
3. #2 is totally irrelevant to me.
4. I need to be better about using what I've got.

To that end, I inventoried and wrote down the names of all the yarns currently in stash, noted how many skeins and what colorways were in each bin and stuck the card on the end of each bin so it's visible. If I get a yen to make something, I can hit my stash first and check to see what I've got.

Yes, I am completely OCD sometimes.

No. I do not expect this to make a damn bit of difference to actual yarn acquisition.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Oh how COOL! The person I was spoiling from the last round of SP (6), who would be the Jersey Knitter sent me a surprise birthday package! Wow! And I was having such a frustrating day, too, so this was really a wonderful and unexpected surprise with totally kismet-like timing. Nestled inside the package were two skeins of Lorna's Laces sock yarn in Black Purl which totally is my favorite colorway ever. I can't wait to knit this up! There was also a little packet of pirate tattoos and a Jacques Torres "Wicked Ways" chocolate bar (dark chocolate with aztec spices) and a little sheep birthday card. I wish I had my digital camera so I could take a picture of it all, it was all wrapped in nifty tissue and stuff. The elder daughter has absconded with it in her room and we don't go in there without, um, full monster repellent gear on. It's scary. Anyway, thank you SO much. I am tickled pink and it really did take the edge off a frustrating day.

Of course, this prompted an immediate head to head tasting of the Jacques Torres Wicked Ways bar vs. the Vosges Red Fire bar that I've been nibbling away at. First impressions:

The WW bar is redolent of vanilla with a faint cinnamon/spice scent. Glossy dark finish to the chocolate. Upon tasting, I note that the chocolate is sweet for being so dark, but not overly so. The spices are elusive but definitely present. They sort of wisp in and out around the tastebuds with a nice clean finish. The chiles are present but not overwhelming in this one. It reminds me of a good cup of Mexican hot chocolate. The RF bar, while also heavy on the vanilla and spice tones has more of a bitter quality up front and a lingering burn at the end. This one hangs on for a while. Both bars are incredibly rich with a very high cacao content. Just a tiny square is enough to satisfy the worst chocolate cravings. Yum.

Yeah, I know, pretentious, aren't I? But it's fun. I like tasting stuff and comparing. I do it with tea, too. What always interests me is how one person's taste experience will differ over another's and how what one person tastes as "earth" or "spice" or "floral" will maybe hit someone else as "monkeys butt" or "ashtray" or "perfume". You never know. It can be surprising. Point is, ymmv. You should definitely get some chocolate and try it out, see how it tastes to you!

I'm v. glad I ripped out the trekking sock and extended it. I'm into the ribbing on the cuff now and much, much happier with the length, overall look and reworking that I did. While the process is fun, the product definitely matters!

Have decided FINALLY that I am going to cast on for the Classic Cashmere Sweater from Simple Knits For Cherished Babies except I am making it in Knitpicks Shine (cotton/modal) and making a few teensy adjustments for gauge and adding a very simple cable. After that, I'll do the Rosebud Cardigan from the same book. I think both of these are going to be really great in terms of teaching me basic construction and skills I'll need to take on something like Rogue or BPT, without a huge outlay in yarn or time. I'm so clever sometimes I astound myself. Plus, I have about 6 friends both online and irl who are getting ready to spawn, so making with the baby sweaters is a good idea anyway.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Resolution.

I will knit my socks to the actual length they are supposed to be. I will not become impatient or bored on the endless rounds of stocking stitch and say "screw this. I wanted anklets anyway." because it is a horrible lie. I want luxurious, full length socks.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Idonotneedmoresockyarn.
Idonotneedmoresockyarn.
Iwanttoknitasweater.
sowhatamIdoingshoppingforsockyarn?!


I've mentioned that sock yarn is gonna be my undoing, right? Oh yeah. Because I need to be surfing for more sock yarn. Like a hole. in. my. head. Some of us are weaker than others, that's just it. Yeah. Right there. Weakness. Me. Bearfoot. And the internet is just there, waaaaving it in my face. Oh come on baby, just one more, just one more skein. Two more skeins. You know you want it. You know that sock yarn is going to feel SO GOOD. Bunch of yarn enablers, that's what all these online yarn sites are. I'm on to it.

So SP7 looks to be a crackin' round this time and that's gonna be a ton of fun. I had a great round last time too and it was my first SP, I had a great spoilee and spoiler. Moze gave me a high mark to live up to but I intend to do her proud. It's a lot of fun, meeting other knitters this way.

It would appear that I have been signed up for a monthly henna gig at a local cafe and it is going to be big, big big! I am very excited. The extra money will be great, of course, but I am really looking forward to improving my skills and just doing some good henna work. First gig, next month, very exciting. I'm hoping that I can garner some parties and private clients out of it, get a little more publicity and maybe work a little more regularly. Even two or three parties a month would really help. Especially because both our cars ended up in the shop today and mine, being 15, is in need of an alarming amount of work. They did the trauma care and things aren't emergent, but it's gonna need a pretty big procedure here in the next few months. We are trying to decide if we want to put the money into it or if we are maybe going to buy a new car all together. I am really interested in the Saturn Ion. Our other car is a Saturn and I just love it. Most likely, husband person would get the new car since he commutes and I'd inherit the "old" Saturn. It's a 2000 and I wouldn't complain too hard about it being old. My poor little Toyota has been a loyal and wonderful friend but we are definitely getting to the point of diminishing return. We got her the same year my oldest daughter was born. Lotta history in that car.

I've been pretty busy. My knitting kinda consists of patiently putting in rounds on the cabled Trekking sock. I'm waiting for a yarn order so I can start a sweater *woohoo!* and have resolved to be a much more adventurous knitter this year. To that end, what am I doing? Joining the 200soxalong. Because I need more socks. No, seriously, that'll be fun, but I am gonna complete a couple of sweaters this year or bust!

Monday, January 09, 2006

I have this alarming habit of sticking dpns and cable needles into my hair behind my ears when not using them, and then forgetting about it, so grabbing another dpn or cable needle and ultimately putting that behind my ear where it slides down and gets tangled in my hair so that when I take my hair down at night, there is this MESS of pointy things and I invariably have to go hunt for them all. It can be amusing when someone goes to pet my hair and gets his hand stabbed. Or hugs that end up with eyes being poked, those are lots of fun. Showing affection to a knitter can be downright dangerous at times.

It's funny but even with the homeschooling back in full swing, the house is much more quiet and serene. I guess it is a truism of parenthood that vacations just aren't and that's all there is to it. Nice to be back to regularly scheduled life in progress. The holidays are OVER. Yay!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

SP 7 question thinger

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand?

Yarn snob. But I and am not averse to cheap snobby yarn. For example, Knitpicks has some pretty darn shiny yarns.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

I spin, knit and crochet, but I really don't crochet that much. Sometimes borders and embellishments. Baby blankets. Otherwise, I'm more into my pointy sticks.

3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

Vase on the table.

4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I've been knitting for a bit over a year, I would definitely say that I am an intermediate knitter overall as there are still plenty of things I haven't done yet, like garment construction, sweaters, fair isle, etc. What I know how to do, I can do very well in an advanced sort of way because I work at techniques until I master them. What I haven't learned yet, obviously I'm a rank beginner.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

I have lists at Knitpicks, Amazon and Two Swans Yarn which I will happily divulge to my SP via email, as finding them requires information I'd rather not post here on my blog.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

It really depends. I'm allergic to a lot of scents. I like Lush bath things over any others. They use natural scents and don't seem to set me off into sneezing or cause me to come over in a rash which most commercial bath preparations do.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

YES! I am particularly fond of Vosges Naga or Red Fire bars and Dagoba Xocolatl bars. I like ginger, too. NOTE: if you want to send me chocolate or candy, please do not send me anything with nuts in it. I am allergic. Thank you!

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

I've done most of 'em and use those skills when needful. I like stamping, paper, mixed media, beading, other needle crafts like embroidery (but not cross stitch).

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

Swirly girly gothic, industrial, blues, folk, celtic. I'm very diverse as far as my musical tastes. My computer can indeed play mp3s and I have an ipod which I use frequently now.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

I prefer black overall for garments. I also love rich saturated colors, deep blues, burgundies, reds, greens. Think jewel tones. I even like some earth tones though more for home decor there. I abhor yellow, flourescent colors, minty colors.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

Kids, pets, all of it. Yep. I have some of each.

12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

No, I live in Southern CA so generally speaking hats, mittens and scarves are not necessary. I do like lacy scarves in light fibers.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?

Wow. Well, for socks I absolutely prefer Lorna's Laces, Koigu and now Trekking XXL. Those are hands down my favorites. I love Lorna's yarns in general. I recently fell in love with Elegance from Knitpicks, and am just looking around for a nice sweater pattern to knit with some. I love Manos Stria cotton yarn.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Acrylic, nylon (some nylon content in sock yarn is ok) anything plastic. I have not had much luck knitting things like mohair or Kid Silk Haze and in fact, that one has made me say some shocking bad words and I'm not sure I'm really a fluffy knittin' kind of girl.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?

Socks. Socks. Socks!

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Er. Socks. Followed by lace.

17. What are you knitting right now?

Um. Well. Socks. Actually.

18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Sure, just not knitted santa toilet seat covers, you know? Or "Presidents Of The United States" bedspreads done in cross stitch.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

It really depends on the project, but I do tend to use circs more often than straights.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Bamboo and wood. I won't use metal or plastic. It's too slippy.

21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

Nah, my "swift" is usually one of the kids and my winder is me.

22. How did you learn to knit?

Self taught, off the internet and out of some books. I'm still teaching myself. It's an ongoing process.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?

well, carbon dating being what it is these days... probably about a year old.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?

Totoro

25. What is your favorite holiday?

totally depends on the holiday, actually. There are points I enjoy about all of them.

26. Is there anything that you collect?

asian tea cups (Japanese style), yixing and tetsubin teapots, tiny little ceramic bunnies from this particular potter in Vermont - but honestly, I've got so much STUFF that I really don't aggressively collect anything. It's like, if I see a nice cup or a yixing pot, if my friend Ratboy sends me one of the bunnies I am very happy to get it, but I don't go out looking. Because stuff breeds.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

None. I really only like Interweave Knits and I get that at my LYS to support the business.

28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?

I'm interested in the Barbara Walker stitch treasuries, I haven't got any and they're next on the list of books to invest in. There's also two books by Ann Budd that I want, The Knitter's Handy Book Of Patterns and The Knitters Handy Book Of Sweater Patterns. Primarily I like books that are not just a collection of patterns but are more oriented towards teaching me to make my own things.

29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I've been teaching myself cabling lately and I'd like to learn to knit sweaters so I imagine that'd be pretty heavy on the construction and finishing techniques.

30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Oh my yes I am and will divulge flipper measurements if truly desired.

31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

12/30. I just turned 36. See, this is the thing about my birthday. When I was in school, it came during break. Now it comes between SP rounds. It is something that us holiday babies learn to live with!
Truism #249

When getting oneself to the optometrist for the first time in four years, do not bring along that complex, cabled sock you are making on #1 needles. Trust me. They are going to dilate your eyes and when you get focus back, you will have a big mess on your hands. If you think back very carefully, you will remember that the Yarn Harlot WARNED of this very sort of issue earlier this year, but instead of learning from those who are wiser, you figured you could just. Um. Count? What? I'm not sure what I thought, really.

However, in about 10 days when the super cool scotchguarded glare resistant do your worst we double dog dare you lenses come in and they can fill the prescription (because naturally I'd pick the frames and lenses they were all out of), I'm going to have a very spiffy set of new glasses. At least, I think I will. It was a little blurry there, trying on frames.

And so goes the very last of the Christmas windfall, gone to insure that I can see for another 3 or 4 years. Rock on.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Well now I know why I've been so out of sorts the last few days, I appear to have come down with the Siberian Death Flu that swept through Naked House earlier this week. Because, yeah, that makes sense, things being all catching and all. Sore throat, stuffy, achy, chills. Oh we love this.

I gave in to the Trekking XXL and Bearfoot urges earlier this week and while two of my Trekking skeins are back ordered, one arrived today. I am in sock love. Yes, yes, I see why everyone is all with the cooing and loving of the Trekking. I too have fallen under the spell.

There's nothing for it but to take a few aspirin, curl up under something chenille, drink peppermint tea with honey and play with wonderful sock yarn.

I should, in all fairness and in light of yesterday's fun, report that the trash got taken out this morning without me having to ask or say a thing. There was much appreciation.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Posty day for me.

So there are days when I just want to toss down my apron (so to speak) and tell the family to just... oh, I don't know. Maybe, have a good time fending for themselves for a few weeks because I am on strike. Or something.

Right now, I have a little experiment going. I'm trying to see how very full the kitchen trash can get and how many days the husband will smash it down and pretend it doesn't need to go out. Three days in total so far and if we make it to bedtime tonight, it'll be four. It's not that I'm too dainty to take the trash out, I just think it's nice for others to pitch in. Not hard, y'know?

I've been having a tiny mini meltdown today, all day. Melty about the fact that I cooked a huge meal around the dishes that my vacationing offspring have piled up all day and then I ended up washing all of them for the simple reason that I am TIRED of nagging people to wash their dishes. Well, that and, we live in an old WLA ghetto building and there are roaches in our building and I try to discourage the nasty little things from coming to our apartment. Other morning, I came out to the kitchen and there was so much powdered sugar on the table you'd think the roaches had been having a cocaine convention. Full gallon of milk uncapped, bowl of egg on the counter and french toast making detritus all over. Kids, well, they got up early for some reason, ate and went back to bed. I suppose I should be grateful they turned the stove off.

I guess what bugs me is not the petty incidental stuff like powdered sugar or dirty dishes or trash, what bugs me is that I am the only person who seems to notice that it needs to be done. Perhaps it is because I am the mama and my family equates that stuff with "mama's job" so they don't think of it, I don't know. I just wish people noticed so that I wasn't always nagging, doing, fussing. It's the little stuff, you know? The endless details. The never ending, never shrinking pile of laundry.

Sometimes I wonder if I quit cooking, cleaning, doing the wash, grocery shopping and minding the thousand and five little details that go into managing a household, I wonder if they'd even notice. Or would they only figure it out when they had piles of dirty panties, no food to eat and the kitchen garbage was piled up to the ceiling.

Don't mind me. I'm tired. There's a lot to do. I'd like to be sitting down with a mug of cocoa and I might do that, but I'd have to clear off a space on the sofa around the books, American Girl catalogs, doll clothes and mess. Or maybe take a hot bath, but we have 5 people using one shower that's cloggy and nobody but me remembers to clean the traps or scrub the tub regularly. And I just don't wanna get down on all fours with my scrubber and get all bleachy with it before a bath, I want to run a *@$% bath and be done with it. So instead of either of those things, I'm being venty on the internet. Because that is proactive. Oh yeah.

I'd like a mini vacation please. A spa day, maybe. Something. Heck, even just a day or two where it was just me and some yarn in a perfectly tidy house where everything stays where I put it. That sounds nice. I'd say that I'd have that time off when the kids go back to school but, oh yeah. Homeschool.

Some days are just like this, I guess.
My children. So cultured.

Last night, I popped in Born Into Brothels after the kids were off to bed, and at one point, Em comes out to get a drink of water and asked me what movie I was watching.

"I'm watching a documentary on children in Calcutta." I said.

"Oh! A documentary," she mused. "That's like, a movie. Only, boring."

and then today, I stopped in at Bunns and Noodle while So-chan was getting her teeth cleaned across the street. Grabbed a copy of The Lives Of The Caesars by Suetonius and also Tacitus The Annals and The Histories in one volume because, well, good to have on hand. Also, 50% marked down from like, $5.95 each, total bargain, and I'll no doubt use 'em for school when I go back. So go me. I am not one to shrink from 50% book tables, nosirree bob!

"What did you get?" she asks me, joining me in the B&N Starbucks (sh*t! I forgot the FT challenge, sorry Siel! I'll do extra tomorrow, I swear!) upon finishing with her dental experience.

"Couple of books, 50% off."

"What books?"

"Lives of the Caesars, by Suetonius." I said.

"Whotonius??" My offspring is looking dubious.

"Suetonius. Roman. It was originally published around 117 AD." sez me.

"Huh. No wonder it was 50%."

Oh yeah, we're raisin' 'em real intellectual like in this household, we sure are.
Yesterday was rather exciting. A porn star asked me to make him socks.

No, really. A porn star asked me to make him socks.

See, I had to get blood drawn and the place we go for that (because it is SOOPER cheap and a well kept secret that it is cheap which means, not a lot of waiting around or hassle) is also the same place that provides a great deal of lab work and STD testing to the adult entertainment industry. Best kept secret in the Valley. And here I am, blabbing about how you can go get labwork done SUPER CHEAP if you haven't got medical insurance. Which, I have, but I also have this wicked high deductible and my out of pocket is less at this lab than at my insured lab, so there ya go, no contest. There goes that secret, right down the drain.

So yeah. Room full of porn actors because this weekend is the big porn Oscars and they're all getting tested I don't know why and I don't want to know why but I know it is so because my phlebotomist told me the lab was slammed as a result of the awards. And then there is me. Knitting. As I am wont to do, when I find myself in a waiting kind of room.

The Koigu sock got passed around the room (wow this is sounding all wrong) and fondled and generally petted and praised (I think my sock may have a great career ahead of it) and all the porn stars looked at me like I was a neuro-surgeon or a rocket scientist because OMG WTF, chick with sticks and string making a real live SOCK and apparently that is rather cool. Then this really cute guy asked me if I'd make him socks. Or mittens. See, I'd heard from other knitters that sometimes random strangers ask you to make them things but I'd never given it credence really, thinking "Oh sure, like some random stranger would ask you to knit for them." but sure enough, it happens. And it happened to me. In a room filled with actors who star in adult entertainment feature films. Now I don't know if this guy was for sure an adult entertainment actor (porn star) because well, I don't watch porn (it makes me laugh too hard) but I'm guessing he probably was. And it makes the story a lot better than if he were just, like, Mel the very cut, very pretty porn cameraman or something.

I told him no, very politely, and explained that he couldn't afford me. And then I got my blood drawn and the sock and I left.

At least he didn't ask me to make him a cosy for anything.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

P1010017

The Koigu sock as of this morning, not quite done turning that heel.

P1010018

The Koigu sock as of this evening. Another 6" of 4x2 ribbing to go. Zzzzzzzzz and then that second sock.

I'm very pleased with what I am getting now, and glad I ripped it out all those times. I like how the colors are working out. Koigu is marvelous stuff. I guess it really is worthwhile to get it JUST right.

I'm thinking that I want to do a sweater, I've been swatching various yarns and looking at patterns. So far, nothing has really leaped out at me and yelled, "I am the PERFECT FIRST SWEATER!" so we'll see. I'd like to do just a simple V neck or cardi. Nothing fancy. I just want to get the basics of construction down on something simple, but I also want it to be flattering. I guess the right pattern will jump out at me sooner or later and until then, well, there's always that second sock.
Rainy at her bday party 05 cropped

So my birthday party turned into a stitch n bitch. Unfortunately, I haven't got permission to post other guests knitting photos, nor photos of Aussies with yarn in hand (and he did in fact, have yarn IN HAND) but this is a relatively goofy shot of moi and that unending Koigu sock.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Oh, go go and watch this right now! If you can, watch the high res version, it's worth it.

Joy :-)
P1010016

Well, it was a tea cosy and not a festive New Year's hat, actually, but we like things that can be multipurpose in this house. Point of fact, it is an Uzbek tea cosy that a friend of mine smuggled into this country. Given that it was smuggled, maybe I shouldn't blog about it. Ya think?

P1010015

Not a tea cosy. All mine. Yay!

P1010004

Tiki likes tea trays.

The sock is fabulous now that I've ripped it out more times than I want to confess and I am happy with it and about to turn my heel. Again. For the third time. Except I lost a sock needle, tried to knit about 1" on it with four needles instead of five, fubared my tension and dropped all manner of stitches. Have (messily) picked them back up and am pronouncing myself satisfied because as G-d is my witness I am NOT ripping the #@!$!@! sock out again. Not. Not. Not.

Yrs. truly went out for a stack of Bollywood to knit by this evening and ended up locking her keys in the car, so stood around in the pissing rain waiting for a tow truck. Gotta hand mad props to Progressive Insurance's 24 hour road service, they were fast and easier than dealing with AAA. I am cold, wet, and it sucked a lot. So I had to stop and update my blog before drying off. Natch.

Walk The Line is fabulous, go see it. We saw it at the Arclight last night. Wonderful film, made me happy, and there was some great music. Confession: stompy industrial girl here does like some country, my first concert ever (at age 8) was to see Emmy Lou Harris with my mom. So the music made me happy in a nostalgic, twangy, thinkin' about time spent with my mom, kind of way. At the Arclight, there is assigned seating, ushers with flashlights who show you the way, there is a bar, a coffee shop, a restaurant and a freaking gift shop. Best theatre evar. Of course it is also the most expensive theatre ever which is why I only go when someone treats me, like my Aussie did last night. Some clever Aussies have annual memberships and get discounts. It helps to have one around.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

I've mentioned before that we have had an extra teenager living with us off and on due to issues at home. Well today he officially took up what looks to be a potentially long term residency on our sofa, because his mother rented out his bedroom to someone else. She did not provide accomodations for her own child, or come up with a solution, rather, waved her hand and said "oh we'll figure something out." and went out salsa dancing for the night. We have a very unhappy boy on our hands. I don't blame him. So I guess we'll see how it all pans out with time. I admit to being a mite baffled by his parental unit, who seems to lack any maternal instinct whatsoever. Being somewhat attached to my own two offspring, it makes little sense to me.

I ripped back the koigu sock yet again. The husband stared at me in horror while I did this. "I didn't like it." I said, as I recast on the toe for a fourth time. "You are never going to get a sock at this rate." he said. "Yes dear, but it's the process, not the product." I assured him. "I think you might want to get a product eventually." he muttered. Honestly, I think he's right, but I'll never admit it. If I don't like this version, I'm balling up the koigu and starting over with something new.

Last night was rather shiny with Chinese food, some very nice Italian "soft" sparkly wine (we saved the Moet for another occasion), cookies and tea. Our wonderful neighbors set up out in front of our building, played oompah music on the car speakers, set off fireworks, screamed, yelled and drank beer until about 2am or so. This morning we (sleepily) sliced into a fresh apple pie and some pannetone for breakfast and considered putting on a little Yma Sumac in front of THEIR windows. Lacking comparable car speakers, we refrained. The little one has gone off to her riding work-study session in the rain (informing me that horses need care even when it is wet) and I'll have cocoa and hot buttered toast waiting for her upon her arrival home. The holidays are lovely for food. The weeks after the holidays are not so lovely for food, because that is when I go back to salads, low fat things and carefully rationed cookies at tea time.